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iKids Summer 2014

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ikids_Summer 2014 8 /gear Meet the new makers When it comes to tots, tech and toys, what's old is new again. In 2005, Dale Dougherty of California-based O'Reilly Media coined the term "Maker Movement" to bring attention to the disappearing art of creating physical things. A decade later, new tech tools make it possible—and yes, fun—to create physical things. Only this time, there's a decidedly high-tech spin. From custom robots to fashion design, tech expert Robin Raskin looks closely at the tools that let kids imagine, build and repeat. B y R o b i n R a s k i n OzObOt What if a set of markers or crayons was all it took to program robots? An Ozobot is a thumb-high robot with some nifty optoelectronics that allows the playmate to follow colored lines and take action as it travels along its path. Kids can draw with markers, crayons, colored pencils, or even on mobile devices. When colors form an intersection, Ozobot takes a pre- scribed course. Ozobot, which is available on iOS and Android, can recognize more than a thousand different instructions and comes with pre-made games. CrayOla Virtual Design PrO Crayola is a ubiquitous part of the creative kid's diet, and the US$20 My Virtual Fashion Show combines the best parts of the real-world coloring experience with the power of augmented reality. The design set comes with a coloring book of fashions and a set of colored pencils. At first, it is low tech and traditional, as the child colors the book to create a palette of colors and patterns. But then iOS and Android mobile devices are used to snap a photo of the creation. Through QR codes, the photo comes alive in 3D on the phone or tablet and then walks the fashion runway. Other features include the ability to style the model's facial features and incorporate real-world objects, such as a leaf, into designs.

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